American Progressive History is the first book to relate the story of Progressive history through all its transformations from its emergence in the early 1900s to its demise in the 1940s.
Focusing his account on the work of the movement's most important representatives—including Charles Beard, James Harvey Robinson, and Carl Becker—Ernst Breisach demonstrates that Progressive history is distinguished by its unique combination of beliefs in the objective reality of historical facts and its faith in the inevitability of the progress of the human race. And though he discusses at length Frederick Jackson Turner's contributions to the creation of a modern American historiography, Breisach sets him apart from the scholars who shaped Progressive history.
While Progressive history is usually treated in isolation from simultanieous movements in European historiography, Breisach shows how it was formulated in the face of the same cultural pressures confronting European historians. Indeed, it becomes clear that until the 1930s the Progressive historians' confidence in the validity of historical investigation and the progress of civilization shielded American historians from the skepticism and cultural pessimism which characterized many of their European contempories.
Breisach's exceptionally broad and subtle analysis reveals American Progressive history to be an important and innovative experiment in the international quest for a New History, as well as a coherent school of thought in its own right.
Daniel Aaron University of Michigan Press, 2007 Library of Congress E175.5.A15A3 2007 | Dewey Decimal 973.07202
“ I have read all of Daniel Aaron’ s books, and admired them, but in The Americanist I believe he has composed an intellectual and social memoir for which he will be remembered. His self-portrait is marked by personal tact and admirable restraint: he is and is not its subject. The Americanist is a vision of otherness: literary and academic friends and acquaintances, here and abroad. Eloquently phrased and free of nostalgia, it catches a lost world that yet engendered much of our own.”
— Harold Bloom
“ The Americanist is the absorbing intellectual autobiography of Daniel Aaron, who is the leading proponent and practitioner of American Studies. Written with grace and wit, it skillfully blends Daniel Aaron’ s personal story with the history of the field he has done so much to create. This is a first-rate book by a first-rate scholar.”
— David Herbert Donald, Professor Emeritus, Harvard University
The Americanist is author and critic Daniel Aaron’ s anthem to nearly a century of public and private life in America and abroad. Aaron, who is widely regarded as one of the founders of American Studies, graduated from the University of Michigan, received his Ph.D. from Harvard, and taught for over three decades each at Smith College and Harvard.
Aaron writes with unsentimental nostalgia about his childhood in Los Angeles and Chicago and his later academic career, which took him around the globe, often in the role of America’ s accidental yet impartial critic. When Walt Whitman, whom Aaron frequently cites as a touchstone, wrote, “ I am large, I contain multitudes,” he could have been describing Daniel Aaron— the consummate erudite and Renaissance individual whose allegiance to the truth always outweighs mere partisan loyalty.
Not only should Aaron’ s book stand as a resplendent and summative work from one of the finest thinkers of the last hundred years, it also succeeds on its own as a first-rate piece of literature, on a par with the writings of any of its subjects. The Americanist is a veritable Who’ s Who of twentieth-century writers Aaron interviewed, interacted with, or otherwise encountered throughout his life: Ralph Ellison, Robert Frost, Lillian Hellman, Richard Hofstadter, Alfred Kazin, Sinclair Lewis, Malcolm Muggeridge, John Crowe Ransom, Upton Sinclair, Edmund Wilson, Leonard Woolf, and W. B. Yeats, to name only a few.
Aaron’ s frank and personal observations of these literary lights make for lively reading. As well, scattered throughout The Americanist are illuminating portraits of American presidents living and passed— miniature masterworks of astute political observation that offer dazzlingly fresh approaches to well-trod subjects.
This remarkable history tells the story of the independent city-republic of Basel in the nineteenth century, and of four major thinkers who shaped its intellectual history: the historian Jacob Burckhardt, the philologist and anthropologist Johann Jacob Bachofen, the theologian Franz Overbeck, and the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.
"Remarkable and exceptionally readable . . . There is wit, wisdom and an immense erudition on every page."—Jonathan Steinberg, Times Literary Supplement
"Gossman's book, a product of many years of active contemplation, is a tour de force. It is at once an intellectual history, a cultural history of Basel and Europe, and an important contribution to the study of nineteenth-century historiography. Written with a grace and elegance that many aspire to, few seldom achieve, this is model scholarship."—John R. Hinde, American Historical Review
Edited by James M. Banner, Jr. and John R. Gillis University of Chicago Press, 2009 Library of Congress D14.B43 2009 | Dewey Decimal 907.2022
In this unique collection, the memoirs of eleven historians provide a fascinating portrait of a formative generation of scholars. Born around the time of World War II, these influential historians came of age just before the upheavals of the 1960s and ’70s and helped to transform both their discipline and the broader world of American higher education. The self-inventions they thoughtfully chronicle led, in many cases, to the invention of new fields—including women’s and gender history, social history, and public history—that cleared paths in the academy and made the study of the past more capacious and broadly relevant. In these stories—skillfully compiled and introduced by James Banner and John Gillis—aspiring historians will find inspiration and guidance, experienced scholars will see reflections of their own dilemmas and struggles, and all readers will discover a rare account of how today’s seasoned historians embarked on their intellectual journeys.
"This is an important book that uses the long and distinguished historical career of Benjamin Shambaugh to place public or 'applied' history into a much-needed historical context. . . . Conard's narrative and analysis provide new insights into continuing debates about the proper role of federal and state governments in collecting and writing history. . . . an important contribution to American historiography in the twentieth century."--Barbara Franco, executive director, the Historical Society of Washington, D.C.
"In Benjamin Shambaugh and the Intellectual Foundations of Public History, Rebecca Conard has written a useful and intriguing book. . . . The historical profession and the people of Iowa are indebted to Rebecca Conard for this book, which explores the impressive career of Benjamin Shambaugh and sheds new light on the fundamentals of the public history movement."--Annals of Iowa
". . . an unexpectedly engaging and useful examination and analysis of the ideologies, arguments, and politics surrounding the rise of history as a professional and academic discipline from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries, especially as they were often rancorously expressed in disputes between the East and Midwest, state and national perspectives, and academic and professional practice."--The Journal of American History
"Conard has provided the history profession with a layered narrative of its development and fragmentation or redevelopment over time, and has explored the meanings of its own histories."--Janelle Warren-Findley, The American Historical Review
"Conard's biography is well written and interesting, and her strategies for engaging in dialog with a variety of texts produce a fresh method for defining and assessing public history."--The Journal of Heritage Stewardship
Although his name is little known today outside Iowa, during the early part of the twentieth century Benjamin Shambaugh (1871 - 1940) was a key figure in the historical profession. Using his distinguished career as a lens, Conard's seminal work is the first book to consider public history as an integral part of the intellectual development of the historical profession as a whole in the United States.
Conard draws upon an unpublished, mid-1940s biography by research historian Jacob Swisher to trace the forces that shaped Shambaugh's early years, his administration of the State Historical Society of Iowa, his development of applied history and commonwealth history in the 1910s and 1920s, and the transformations in his thinking and career during the 1930s. Framing this intriguingly interwoven narrative are chapters that contextualize Shambaugh's professional development within the development of the historical profession as a whole in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and assess his career within the post-World War II emergence of the modern public history movement.
Shambaugh's career speaks to those who believe in the power of history to engage and inspire local audiences as well as those who believe that historians should apply their knowledge and methods outside the academy in pursuit of the greater public good.
Rebecca Conard, associate professor of history and codirector of the Public History Program at Middle Tennessee State University, is also the author of Places of Quiet Beauty: Parks, Preserves, and Environmentalism (Iowa, 1997), which won the Benjamin Shambaugh Award.
"Rebecca Conard provides an elegant discussion of a complex topic: the emergence of public history in the twentieth century. . . . a sophisticated addition to public history historiography."--The Public Historian
Walter Laqueur has been writing and teaching for over six decades, primarily in the fields of twentieth century history and politics, always as a shrewd and thoughtful generalist in an age of specialization. In this engaging memoir, Laqueur focuses on the political and historical events that shaped his thinking and that have inspired his intellectual work throughout his life. He discusses living and attending school under Nazism; Marxism, the Soviet Union, and the part he played in Cold War politics; and the image his generation had of Zionism, Israel, and the Middle East. Laqueur shares his views on beltway politics and think tanks, and concludes with a look at guerrilla warfare and terrorism, and the future of Europe.
As the world went to war in 1941, Time magazine founder Henry Luce coined a term for what was rapidly becoming the establishment view of America’s role in the world: the twentieth century, he argued, was the American Century. Many of the nation’s most eminent historians—nearly all of them from the East Coast—agreed with this vision and its endorsement of the vigorous use of power and persuasion to direct world affairs. But an important concentration of midwestern historians actively dissented. With Beyond the Frontier, David S. Brown tells their little-known story of opposition.
Raised in a cultural landscape that combined agrarian provincialism with reform-minded progressivism, these historians—among them Charles Beard, William Appleman Williams, and Christopher Lasch—argued strenuously against the imperial presidencies, interventionist foreign policies, and Keynesian capitalism that swiftly shaped cold war America. Casting a skeptical eye on the burgeoning military-industrial complex and its domestic counterpart, the welfare state, they warned that both components of the liberal internationalist vision jeopardized the individualistic, republican ethos that had long lain at the heart of American democracy.
Drawing on interviews, personal papers, and correspondence of the imoprtant players in the debate, Brown has written a fascinating follow-up to his critically acclaimed biography of Richard Hofstadter. Illuminating key ideas that link midwestern writers from Frederick Jackson Turner all the way to William Cronon and Thomas Frank, Beyond the Frontier is intellectual history at its best: grounded in real lives and focused on issues that remain salient—and unresolved—even today.
This collection of essays honors beloved Alaska historian Terrence Cole upon his retirement. Contributors include former students and colleagues whose personal and professional lives he has touched deeply. The pieces range from appreciative reflections on Cole’s contributions in teaching, research, and service, to topics he encouraged his students to pursue, plus pieces he inspired directly or indirectly. It is an eclectic collection that spans the humanities and social sciences, each capturing aspects of the human experience in Alaska’s vast and variable landscape. Together the essays offer readers complementary perspectives that will delight Cole’s many fans—and gain him new ones.
C. L. R. James's Caribbean
Paget Henry and Paul Buhle, eds. Duke University Press, 1992 Library of Congress PR9272.9.J35Z63 1992 | Dewey Decimal 818
For more than half a century, C. L. R. James (1901–1989)—"the Black Plato," as coined by the London Times—has been an internationally renowned revolutionary thinker, writer, and activist. Born in Trinidad, his lifelong work was devoted to understanding and transforming race and class exploitation in his native West Indies, as well as in Britain and the United States. In C. L. R. James's Caribbean, noted scholars examine the roots of both James's life and oeuvre in connection with the economic, social, and political environment of the West Indies.
Drawing upon James's observations of his own life as revealed to interviewers and close friends, this volume provides an examination of James's childhood and early years as colonial literatteur and his massive contribution to West Indian political-cultural understanding. Moving beyond previous biographical interpretations, the contributors here take up the problem of reading James's texts in light of poststructuralist criticism, the implications of his texts for Marxist discourse, and for problems of Caribbean development.
A leading scholar in early twentieth-century India, Sir Jadunath Sarkar (1870–1958) was knighted in 1929 and became the first Indian historian to gain honorary membership in the American Historical Association. By the end of his lifetime, however, he had been marginalized by the Indian history establishment, as postcolonial historians embraced alternative approaches in the name of democracy and anti-colonialism. The Calling of History examines Sarkar’s career—and poignant obsolescence—as a way into larger questions about the discipline of history and its public life.
Through close readings of more than twelve hundred letters to and from Sarkar along with other archival documents, Dipesh Chakrabarty demonstrates that historians in colonial India formulated the basic concepts and practices of the field via vigorous—and at times bitter and hurtful—debates in the public sphere. He furthermore shows that because of its non-technical nature, the discipline as a whole remains susceptible to pressure from both the public and the academy even today. Methodological debates and the changing reputations of scholars like Sarkar, he argues, must therefore be understood within the specific contexts in which particular histories are written.
Insightful and with far-reaching implications for all historians, The Calling of History offers a valuable look at the double life of history and how tensions between its public and private sides played out in a major scholar’s career.
The views generally held about the rise of the factory system in Britain derive from highly distorted accounts of the social consequences of that system—so say the distinguished economic historians whose papers make up this book. The authors offer documentary evidence to support their conclusion that under capitalism the workers, despite long hours and other hardships of factory life, were better off financially, had more opportunities, and led a better life than had been the case before the Industrial Revolution.
Although historians talk about each other's work routinely, they have been reluctant to record their thoughts about the leading practitioners of U.S. history. Robert Allen Rutland attempts to remedy this state of things with this collection named for Clio, the Greek muse vested with the inspirations of history. The volume offers a glimpse of the lives and work of historians who must be considered among the most remarkable from the last half of the twentieth century.
The roll call of excellence for Clio's Favorites was established after Rutland informally polled some twenty-five historians, asking them to name the outstanding workers in the field of U.S. history since the end of World War II. Among the criteria for selection were: quality (not volume) of the historian's work; influence in the field of study; importance of his or her graduate and undergraduate teaching; and the figure's public persona as reflected by awards, honors, and involvement in public service. The historians profiled in Clio's Favorites, most of whom broke new ground, met and surpassed these standards. The list could have gone on, but Rutland believes these twelve represent the cream of the crop. They are: Bernard Bailyn, Merle Curti, David Herbert Donald, John Hope Franklin, Richard Hofstadter, Howard Roberts Lamar, Gerda Lerner, Arthur S. Link, Edmund S. Morgan, David M. Potter, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., and C. Vann Woodward.
Just as the subject of each essay in Clio's Favorites is a remarkably distinguished historian, the authors of these twelve essays are accomplished historians themselves. Good historical writing is never outdated, Rutland argues. The extensive work of the scholars profiled here has endured and will continue to endure. Likewise, the writing in Clio's Favorites, by twelve expert historians, will survive. This book will be a lasting record of the contributions made by the best U.S. historians practicing their craft over the last fifty years.
In this absorbing memoir, Merrill D. Peterson traces his progress from a young Kansas Republican to a "Left Liberal," Democrat by reconstructing how the New Republic singularly influenced his intellectual development and academic career during some of the most turbulent years in American history—the final years of the Great Depression through World War II and the beginnings of the Cold War. Peterson recalls how, as a young man, he was guided to intellectual maturity by such extraordinary individuals as Max Lerner, Archibald MacLeish, Vincent Sheean, Alfred Kazin, Lewis Mumford, and Malcolm Cowley—all contributors to this important magazine. We look back, with Peterson, and see how their views are inextricably reflected in his own developing worldview.
Peterson was introduced to this liberal weekly by one of his teachers during his senior year of high school (1938-1939). For the next ten years, the magazine served as his principal guide to the politics and culture of the times. Now, at seventy-eight years of age, Peterson revisits the magazine that he read so eagerly during those early, impressionable years. With considerable skill and charm, Peterson weaves together the fresh reading, the history of the country during the 1940s, and his own personal history to give us the heart of the book. In addition, he includes brief essays on Vernon L. Parrington, Lewis Mumford, and Max Lerner, the three American writers and intellectuals he believes had the most influence on him.
Peterson discusses several turning points in his young life, but he focuses primarily on his education and the role the magazine played in it. The book concludes when Peterson, with a Ph.D. in the history of American civilization, accepts his first academic appointment, at Brandeis University, and approaches the publication of his first book. Thus, a critical chapter in his life comes to a close.
Confronting History: A Memoir
George L. Mosse; Foreword by Walter Laqueur University of Wisconsin Press, 2000 Library of Congress D15.M668A3 2000 | Dewey Decimal 940.5092
Just two weeks before his death in January 1999, George L. Mosse, one of the great American historians, finished writing his memoir, a fascinating and fluent account of a remarkable life that spanned three continents and many of the major events of the twentieth century.
Confronting History describes Mosse's opulent childhood in Weimar Berlin; his exile in Paris and England, including boarding school and study at Cambridge University; his second exile in the U.S. at Haverford, Harvard, Iowa, and Wisconsin; and his extended stays in London and Jerusalem. Mosse discusses being a Jew and his attachment to Israel and Zionism, and he addresses his gayness, his coming out, and his growing scholarly interest in issues of sexuality. This touching memoir—told with the clarity, passion, and verve that entranced thousands of Mosse's students—is guided in part by his belief that "what man is, only history tells" and, most of all, by the importance of finding one's self through the pursuit of truth and through an honest and unflinching analysis of one's place in the context of the times.
Growing up during the Second World War, H. Bruce Franklin believed what he was told: that America’s victory would lead to a new era of world peace. Like most Americans, he was soon led to believe in a world-wide Communist conspiracy that menaced the United States, forcing the nation into a disastrous war in Korea. But once he joined the U.S. Air Force and began flying top-secret missions as a navigator and intelligence officer, what he learned was eye-opening. He saw that even as the U.S. preached about peace and freedom, it was engaging in an endless cycle of warfare, bringing devastation and oppression to fledgling democracies across the globe.
Now, after fifty years as a renowned cultural historian, Franklin offers a set of hard-learned lessons about modern American history. Crash Course is essential reading for anyone who wonders how America ended up where it is today: with a deeply divided and disillusioned populace, led by a dysfunctional government, and mired in unwinnable wars. It also finds startling parallels between America’s foreign military exploits and the equally brutal tactics used on the home front to crush organized labor, antiwar, and civil rights movements.
More than just a memoir or a history book, Crash Course gives readers a unique firsthand look at the building of the American empire and the damage it has wrought. Shocking and gripping as any thriller, it exposes the endless deception of the American public, and reveals from inside how and why many millions of Americans have been struggling for decades against our own government in a fight for peace and justice.
This superb biography provides for the first time a candid look at the remarkable life of Walter Williams, the man who founded the world's first school of journalism and perhaps contributed more toward the promotion of professional journalism than any other person of his time.
Williams, the youngest of six children, was born in Boonville, Missouri, in 1864. Never an athletic child, he always had a love of books and of learning; yet, he scarcely had a high school education. He began his journalistic career as a printer's devil at seventy cents per week and eventually became editor and part- owner of a weekly in Columbia, Missouri. During his time as an editor, Williams became convinced that journalism would never reach its potential until its practitioners had the opportunity for university training in their field. After years of crusading, he established the first journalism school, on the University of Missouri campus. Later, he was chosen president of the University of Missouri, which he led with distinction during the Great Depression.
Williams was an unwavering advocate of high professional standards. His Journalist's Creed became one of the most widely circulated codes of professional ethics. Williams inspired the confidence of his fellow journalists, and he carried his message to nearly every country in which newspapers were published. Not only did he invent journalism education, he also created global organizations of journalists and spread the gospel of professionalism throughout the world. His death, in 1935, was mourned throughout the United States, and editorial tributes came from around the world. As one British editor succinctly put it, "Williams was not born to greatness. Neither was it thrust upon him. Literally, he achieved greatness."
Born to Slovenian peasants, Louis Adamic commanded crowds, met with FDR and Truman, and built a prolific career as an author and journalist. Behind the scenes, he played a leading role in a coalition of black intellectuals and writers, working class militants, ethnic activists, and others that worked for a multiethnic America and against fascism. John Enyeart restores Adamic's life to the narrative of American history. Dogged and energetic, Adamic championed causes that ranged from ethnic and racial equality to worker's rights to anticolonialism. Adamic defied the consensus that equated being American with Anglo-Protestant culture. Instead, he insisted newcomers and their ideas kept the American identity in a state of dynamism that pushed it from strength to strength. In time, Adamic's views put him at odds with an establishment dedicated to cold war aggression and white supremacy. He increasingly fought smear campaigns and the distortion of his views--both of which continued after his probable murder in 1951.
In 1958, the American Historical Association began a study to determine the status and condition of history education in U.S. colleges and universities. Published in 1962 and addressing such issues as the supply and demand for teachers, student recruitment, and training for advanced degrees, that report set a lasting benchmark against which to judge the study of history thereafter. Now, more than forty years later, the AHA has commissioned a new report. The Education of Historians for the Twenty-first Century documents this important new study's remarkable conclusions.
Both the American academy and the study of history have been dramatically transformed since the original study, but doctoral programs in history have barely changed. This report from the AHA explains why and offers concrete, practical recommendations for improving the state of graduate education. The Education of Historians for the Twenty-first Century stands as the first investigation of graduate training for historians in more than four decades and the best available study of doctoral education in any major academic discipline.
Prepared for the AHA by the Committee on Graduate Education, the report represents the combined efforts of a cross-section of the entire historical profession. It draws upon a detailed review of the existing studies and data on graduate education and builds upon this foundation with an exhaustive survey of history doctoral programs. This included actual visits to history departments across the country and consultations with scores of individual historians, graduate students, deans, academic and non-academic employers of historians, as well as other stakeholders in graduate education.
As the ethnic and gender composition of both graduate students and faculty has changed, methodologies have been refined and the domains of historical inquiry expanded. By addressing these revolutionary intellectual and demographic changes in the historical profession, The Education of Historians for the Twenty-first Century breaks important new ground. Combining a detailed historical snapshot of the profession with a rigorous analysis of these intellectual changes, this volume is ideally positioned as the definitive guide to strategic planning for history departments. It includes practical recommendations for handling institutional challenges as well as advice for everyone involved in the advanced training of historians, from department chairs to their students, and from university administrators to the AHA itself.
The Eleventh House: Memoirs
Hudson Strode, Introduction by Don Noble University of Alabama Press, 2016 Library of Congress D15.S89A33 2016 | Dewey Decimal 973.9092
"Every place I visited," says Hudson Strode, "was like a surprise package to be opened, and I untied the strings with high expectations." Reading The Eleventh House: Memoirs is like going to a party of smartly dressed guests.
Strode starts his foreign travels in Sorrento with Dante's descendant Count Dante Serego-Alighieri as his guide. He takes a Russian cattle boat to Tunisia and lunches with the lovely Countess de Brazza. Then he embarks on a whirlwind tour of South America and writes South by Thunderbird. Later, in England, he visits Rebecca West at her country home and strikes up a warm friendship with Lady Astor. In Denmark his hostess is Isak Dinesen. In Finland he meets Jan Sibelius.
Such are the times of Hudson Strode. With his keen eye for settings, with candor, energy, and curiosity, Strode sees his famous friends closely and wholly. His is a unique account.
The Eleventh House is the story of a rewarding and fascinating life told by a man who remembers it all with affection. He tells it for the record and as great entertainment.
Don Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl is one of the most controversial and provocative Mexican chroniclers from the colonial period. A descendant of both the famous Prehispanic poet-king Nezahualcoyotl and Hernán Cortés’s ally Cortés Ixtlilxochitl, he penned chronicles that rewrote Prehispanic and colonial history. Traditionally known as a Europeanized historian of Tetzcoco, he wrote prolifically, producing documents covering various aspects of pre- and postconquest history, religion, and literature.
His seventeenth-century writings have had a lasting effect on the understanding of Mexican culture and history from the colonial period to the present. But because Alva Ixtlilxochitl frequently used Tetzcocan oral traditions and pictorial codices of his ancestors’ heroic achievements, scholars have long said that his writings exhibit a Tetzcocan bias that distorts representations and understandings of Prehispanic Mexican history and culture.
Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl and His Legacy is a collection of essays providing deeper perspective on the life, work, and legacy of Alva Ixtlilxochitl. The contributors revise and broaden previous understandings of Alva Ixtlilxochitl’s racial and cultural identity, including his method of transcribing pictorial texts, his treatment of gender, and his influence on Mexican nationalism. Chapter authors coming from the fields of anthropology, history, linguistics, and literature offer valuable new perspectives on the complexities of Alva Ixtlilxochitl’s life and his contributions to the history and scholarship of Mexico.
Henry Adams - American Writers 93 was first published in 1971. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
That is how the celebrated British academic Noel Annan described Herbert Butterfield (1900–1979), a profound and prolific writer who made important contributions as both a public and academic historian.
In this authoritative and accessible intellectual biography, Kenneth B. McIntyre explores the extraordinary range of Butterfield’s work. He shows why the small book The Whig Interpretation of History (1931) achieved such large influence; Butterfield, he demonstrates, has profoundly shaped American and European historiography by highlighting the distortions that occur when historians interpret the past merely as steps along the way toward the glorious present.
But McIntyre delves much deeper, examining everything from Butterfield’s lectures on history, historiography, and Christianity, to his warnings about the dangers of hubris in international affairs, to his essays on the origins of modern science, which basically created the modern discipline of the history of science.
This latest volume in ISI Books’ acclaimed Library of Modern Thinkers helps us understand a prescient and insightful thinker who challenged dominant currents in history, historiography, international relations, and politics.
The Historian behind the History brings together a collection of valuable interviews with prominent southern historians conducted over the course of a decade by graduate students in the University of Alabama’s history program for the journal Southern History. In the interviews, ten notable southern historians and mentors illuminate the state of historiography, their experiences in the profession, and their thoughts about graduate education and southern history.
The historians and their main topics include:
Richard J. M. Blackett on antebellum and African American history Dan T. Carter on Reconstruction, Civil Rights, and George Wallace Pete Daniel on the New Deal and the Cold War South Laura F. Edwards on the Early Republic, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and women’s history William W. Freehling on the antebellum South Gary W. Gallagher on the Civil War Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore on Jim Crow James M. McPherson on the Civil War Theodore Rosengarten on the Depression J. Mills Thornton III on the antebellum South
In his introduction, award-winning author and historian George C. Rable draws together the multifaceted themes of these interviews, offering a compelling overview of the nature of the field. Edited by Megan L. Bever and Scott A. Suarez, The Historian behind the History offers critical insights about the craft and professional life of the historian.
Second edition. A comprehensive survey of historical literature produced in Italy during the Renaissance; a major contribution which discusses hundreds of authors who wrote in Latin or Italian in all parts of Italy during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
From lagging book sales and shrinking job prospects to concerns over the discipline's "narrowness," myriad factors have been cited by historians as evidence that their profession is in decline in America. Ian Tyrrell's Historians in Public shows that this perceived threat to history is recurrent, exaggerated, and often misunderstood. In fact, history has adapted to and influenced the American public more than people—and often historians—realize.
Tyrrell's elegant history of the practice of American history traces debates, beginning shortly after the profession's emergence in American academia, about history's role in school curricula. He also examines the use of historians in and by the government and whether historians should utilize mass media such as film and radio to influence the general public. As Historians in Public shows, the utility of history is a distinctive theme throughout the history of the discipline, as is the attempt to be responsive to public issues among pressure groups.
A superb examination of the practice of American history since the turn of the century, Historians in Public uncovers the often tangled ways history-makers make history-both as artisans and as actors.
America has gone Hamilton crazy. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-winning musical has spawned sold-out performances, a triple platinum cast album, and a score so catchy that it is being used to teach U.S. history in classrooms across the country. But just how historically accurate is Hamilton? And how is the show itself making history?
Historians on Hamilton brings together a collection of top scholars to explain the Hamilton phenomenon and explore what it might mean for our understanding of America’s history. The contributors examine what the musical got right, what it got wrong, and why it matters. Does Hamilton’s hip-hop take on the Founding Fathers misrepresent our nation’s past, or does it offer a bold positive vision for our nation’s future? Can a musical so unabashedly contemporary and deliberately anachronistic still communicate historical truths about American culture and politics? And is Hamilton as revolutionary as its creators and many commentators claim?
Perfect for students, teachers, theatre fans, hip-hop heads, and history buffs alike, these short and lively essays examine why Hamilton became an Obama-era sensation and consider its continued relevance in the age of Trump. Whether you are a fan or a skeptic, you will come away from this collection with a new appreciation for the meaning and importance of the Hamilton phenomenon.
This collection of essays on the social and political history of the modern South consider the region’s poor, racial mores and race relations, economic opportunity, Protestant activism, political coalitions and interest groups, social justice, and progressive reform.
History and Hope in the Heart of Dixie illuminates the dual role of historian and public advocate in modern America. In a time when the nation’s eyes have been focused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita onto the vulnerability and dire condition of poor people in the South, the applicability of research, teaching, and activism for this voiceless element seems all the more relevant.
Responding to the example of Wayne Flynt, whose fierce devotion to his state of Alabama and its region has not blinded his recognition of the inequities and despair that define southern life for so many, the scholars assembled in this work present contributions to the themes Flynt so passionately explored in his own work. Two seasoned observers of southern history and culture—John Shelton Reed and Dan T. Carter—offer assessments of Flynt’s influence on the history profession as a whole and on the region of the South in particular.
Georges Duby University of Chicago Press, 1994 Library of Congress D116.7.D83A3 1994 | Dewey Decimal 940.1092
In this engaging intellectual autobiography, Georges Duby looks back on a career that has led him to be called one of the most distinguished historians in the Western world.
Since its beginning in the 1940s, Duby's career has been rich and varied, encompassing economic history, social history, the history of mentalites, art history, microhistory, urban history, the history of women and sexuality, and, most recently, the Church's influence on feudal society. In retracing this singular career path, Duby candidly remembers his life's most formative influences, including the legendary historians Marc Bloch and Lucien Febvre, the Annales School so closely associated with them, and the College de France.
Duby also offers insights about the proper methods of gathering and using archival data and on constructing penetrating interpretations of the documents. Indeed, his discussion of how he chose his subjects, collected his materials, developed the arguments, erected the scaffolding and constructed his theses offers the best introduction to the craft available to aspiring historians.
Candid and charming, this book is both a memoir of one of this century's great scholars and a history of the French historical school since the mid-twentieth century. It will be required reading for anyone interested in the French academic milieu, medieval history, French history, or the recording of history in general.
Georges Duby, a member of the Academie francaise, for many years held the distinguished chair in medieval history at the College de France. His numerous books include The Age of Cathedrals; The Knight, the Lady, and the Priest; Love and Marriage in the Middle Ages; and The Three Orders—all published by the University of Chicago Press.
Though history and autobiography both claim to tell true stories about the past, historians have traditionally rejected first-person accounts as subjective and therefore unreliable. What then, asks Jeremy D. Popkin in History, Historians, and Autobiography, are we to make of the ever-increasing number of professional historians who are publishing stories of their own lives? And how is this recent development changing the nature of history-writing, the historical profession, and the genre of autobiography?
Drawing on the theoretical work of contemporary critics of autobiography and the philosophy of Paul Ricoeur, Popkin reads the autobiographical classics of Edward Gibbon and Henry Adams and the memoirs of contemporary historians such as Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, Peter Gay, Jill Ker Conway, and many others, he reveals the contributions historians' life stories make to our understanding of the human experience. Historians' autobiographies, he shows, reveal how scholars arrive at their vocations, the difficulties of writing about modern professional life, and the ways in which personal stories can add to our understanding of historical events such as war, political movements, and the traumas of the Holocaust.
An engrossing overview of the way historians view themselves and their profession, this work will be of interest to readers concerned with the ways in which we understand the past, as well as anyone interested in the art of life-writing.
From the late nineteenth century until World War II, competing spheres of professional identity and practice redrew the field of history, establishing fundamental differences between the roles of university historians, archivists, staff at historical societies, history teachers, and others.
In History’s Babel, Robert B. Townsend takes us from the beginning of this professional shift—when the work of history included not just original research, but also teaching and the gathering of historical materials—to a state of microprofessionalization that continues to define the field today. Drawing on extensive research among the records of the American Historical Association and a multitude of other sources, Townsend traces the slow fragmentation of the field from 1880 to the divisions of the 1940s manifest today in the diverse professions of academia, teaching, and public history. By revealing how the founders of the contemporary historical enterprise envisioned the future of the discipline, he offers insight into our own historical moment and the way the discipline has adapted and changed over time. Townsend’s work will be of interest not only to historians but to all who care about how the professions of history emerged, how they might go forward, and the public role they still can play.
This landmark book was first published in Germany, provoking both acclaim and controversy. In this "history of historiography," Nicolas Berg addresses the work of German and German-Jewish historians in the first three decades of post–World War II Germany. He examines how they perceived—and failed to perceive—the Holocaust and how they interpreted and misinterpreted that historical fact using an arsenal of terms and concepts, arguments and explanations.
This English-language translation is also a shortened and reorganized edition, which includes a new introduction by Berg reviewing and commenting on the response to the German editions. Notably, in this American edition, discussion of historian Joseph Wulf and his colleague and fellow Holocaust survivor Léon Poliakov has been united in one chapter. And special care has been taken to make clear to English speakers the questions raised about German historiographical writing. Translator Joel Golb comments, "From 1945 to the present, the way historians have approached the Holocaust has posed deep-reaching problems regarding choice of language. . . . This book is consequently as much about language as it is about facts."
Over the last fifty years, Roland Oliver has been both a witness to the post-colonial history of Africa and a preeminent scholar of the continent’s pre-colonial history. Oliver was a young Cambridge graduate in 1947 when he took a newly created position at the University of London to research, and eventually teach, the pre-colonial history of Africa. Seeking from the outset to establish a unified conception of African history free from European frameworks, Oliver and his colleague John Fage went on to write the influential A Short History of Africa, found the Journal of African History, and co-edit the eight-volume Cambridge History of Africa. In the Realms of Gold is Oliver’s account of his life and work. He writes in a deft and lively style about the circumstances of his early life that shaped his education and outlook: his childhood on a river houseboat in Kashmir, the influential teachers and friends met at Stowe and Cambridge, and his service in World War II as a cryptographer in British intelligence, where he met his first wife, Caroline Linehan. His interest in church history while at Cambridge led him to study the historical effects of Christian missionaries in Africa, and thus his career began.
The core of the book is Oliver’s account of his research travels throughout tropical Africa from the 1940s to the 1980s; his efforts to train and foster African graduate students to teach in African universities; his role in establishing conferences and journals to bring together the work of historians and archaeologists from Europe and Africa; his encounters with political and religious leaders, scholars, soldiers, and storytellers; and the political and economic upheavals of the continent that he witnessed.
The idea that the United States—a nation founded after a war of independence—operates as an imperialist power on the world stage has gained considerable traction since the turn of the twenty-first century. But just a few decades earlier, this position was considered radical and even “un-American.” How did this dramatic change come about?
Tracing the emergence of the concept of US imperialism, James G. Morgan shows how radical and revisionist scholars in the 1950s and 1960s first challenged the paradigm of denying an American empire. As the Vietnam War created a critical flashpoint, bringing the idea of American imperialism into the US mainstream, radical students of the New Left turned toward Marxist critiques, admiring revolutionaries like Che Guevara. Simultaneously, a small school of revisionist scholars, led by historian William Appleman Williams at the University of Wisconsin, put forward a progressive, nuanced critique of American empire grounded in psychology, economics, and broader historical context. It is this more sophisticated strand of thinking, Morgan argues, which demonstrated that empire can be an effective analytical framework for studying US foreign policy, thus convincing American scholars to engage with the subject seriously for the first time.
This historical memoir by the widely recognized scholar, Wayne Flynt, chronicles the inner workings of his academic career at Samford and Auburn Universities, as well as his many contributions to the general history of Alabama. Flynt has traveled the state and the South lecturing and teaching both lay and academic groups, calling on his detailed knowledge of both the history and power structures in Alabama to reveal uncomfortable truths wherever he finds them, whether in academic institutions that fall short of their stated missions, in government and industry leaders who seek and hold power by playing to the fears and prejudices of the public, or in religious groups who abandon their original missions and instead seek financial and emotional comfort in lip service only.
In doing so he has not only energized those who think the State of Alabama can and must do better, but also has earned the enmity of those who prosper, profit, and prevaricate for their own selfish ends. Nevertheless, Flynt utilizes a lifetime of learning and reflection to voice the conscience of his community. Keeping the Faith: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives tells the story of his life and his courageous battles against an indifferent or hostile hierarchy with modesty and honesty. In doing so he tells us how Alabama institutions really are manipulated and, more importantly, why we should care.
Robert E Sullivan Harvard University Press, 2009 Library of Congress DA3.M3S85 2009 | Dewey Decimal 941.081092
On the 150th anniversary of the death of the English historian and politician Thomas Babington Macaulay, Robert Sullivan offers a portrait of a Victorian life that probes the cost of power, the practice of empire, and the impact of ideas. Devoting his huge talents to gaining power - above all for England and its empire - made Macaulay's life a tragedy. Sullivan offers an unsurpassed study of an afflicted genius and a thoughtful meditation on the modern ethics of power.
Mary Lincoln is a lightning rod for controversy. Stories reveal widely different interpretations, and it is impossible to write a definitive version of her life that will suit everyone. The thirteen engaging essays in this collection introduce Mary Lincoln’s complex nature and show how she is viewed today.
The authors’ explanations of her personal and private image stem from a variety of backgrounds, and through these lenses—history, theater, graphic arts, and psychiatry—they present their latest research and assessments. Here they reveal the effects of familial culture and society on her life and give a broader assessment of Mary Lincoln as a woman, wife, and mother. Topics include Mary’s childhood in Kentucky, the early years of her marriage to Abraham, Mary’s love of travel and fashion, the presidential couple’s political partnership, and Mary’s relationship with her son Robert.
The fascinating epilogue meditates on Mary Lincoln’s universal appeal and her enigmatic personality, showcasing the dramatic differences in interpretations. With gripping prose and in-depth documentation, this anthology will capture the imagination of all readers.
Univeristy Press Books for Public and Secondary Schools 2013 edition
In this revised and expanded edition of Medicine Stories, Aurora Levins Morales weaves together insights and lessons learned over a lifetime of activism to offer a new theory of social justice. Calling for a politics of integrity that recognizes the complicated wholeness of individual and collective lives, Levins Morales delves among the interwoven roots of multiple oppressions, exposing connections, crafting strategies, and uncovering the wellsprings of resilience and joy. Throughout these twenty-eight essays—twenty-one of which are new or extensively revised—she exposes the structures and mechanisms that silence voices and divide movements. The result is a medicine bag full of techniques and perspectives to build a universal solidarity that is flexible, nuanced, and strong enough to fundamentally shift our world toward justice. Intimately personal and globally relevant, Medicine Stories brings clarity and hope to tangled, emotionally charged social issues in beautiful and accessible language.
Lawyer and journalist, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Louis Houck is often called the “Father of Southeast Missouri” because he brought the railroad to the region and opened this backwater area to industrialization and modernization. Although Houck’s name is little known today outside Missouri, Joel Rhodes shows how his story has relevance for both the state and the nation.
Rhodes presents a more complete picture of Houck than has ever been available: reviewing his life from his German immigrant roots, considering his career from both social and political perspectives, and grounding the story in both state and national history. He especially tells how, from 1880 to the 1920s, this self-taught railroader constructed a network of five hundred miles of track through the wilderness of wetlands known as “Swampeast Missouri”—and how these “Houck Roads” provided a boost for population, agriculture, lumbering, and commerce that transformed Cape Girardeau and the surrounding area.
Rhodes discusses how Houck fits into the era of economic individualism—a time when men with little formal training shaped modern industry—and also gives voice to Houck’s critics and shows that he was not always an easy man to work with. In telling the story of his railroading enterprise, Rhodes chronicles Houck’s battle with the Jay Gould railroad empire and offers key insight into the development of America’s railway system, from the cutthroat practices of ruthless entrepreneurs to the often-comic ineptness of start-up rail lines.
More than simply a biography of a business entrepreneur, the book tells how Houck not only developed the region economically but also followed the lead of Andrew Carnegie by making art, culture, and formal education available to all social classes. Houck also served for thirty-six years as president of the Board of Regents of Southeast Missouri State Teacher’s College, and as a self-taught historian he wrote the first comprehensive accounts of Missouri’s territorial period.
A Missouri Railroad Pioneer chronicles a multifaceted career that transformed a region. Solidly researched, this lively narrative also offers an entertaining read for anyone interested in Missouri history.
In Old Blue’s Road, historian James Whiteside shares accounts of his motorcycle adventures across the American West. He details the places he has seen, the people he has met, and the personal musings those encounters prompted on his unique journeys of discovery.
In 2005, Whiteside bought a Harley Davidson Heritage Softail, christened it “Old Blue,” and set off on a series of far-reaching motorcycle adventures. Over six years he traveled more than 15,000 miles. Part travelogue and part historical tour, this book takes the reader along for the ride. Whiteside’s travels to the Pacific Northwest, Yellowstone, Dodge City, Santa Fe, Wounded Knee, and many other locales prompt consideration of myriad topics—the ongoing struggle between Indian and mainstream American culture, the meaning of community, the sustainability of the West's hydraulic society, the creation of the national parks system, the Mormon experience in Utah, the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, and more.
Delightfully funny and insightful, Old Blue’s Road links the colorful history and vibrant present from Whiteside’s unique vantage point, recognizing and reflecting on the processes of change that made the West what it is today. The book will interest the general reader and western historian alike, leading to new appreciation for the complex ways in which the American West's past and present come together.
In the 1950s professional historians claiming to specialize in tropical Africa were no more than a handful. The teaching of world history was confined to high school courses, and even those focused on European history. Philip Curtin developed a sound methodology for teaching world history and, always a controversial figure, revived the study of the history of the Atlantic slave trade. His career stands as an example of the kind of dissatisfaction and struggle that brought about a sea change in higher education. Curtin founded African Studies and the Program in Comparative World History at Wisconsin and Johns Hopkins universities, programs that produced many of the most influential Africanists from the 1950s into the 1990s.Written with economy and telling detail, On the Fringes of History follows Curtin from his beginnings in West Virginia in the 1920s. This memoir, beautifully illustrated with Curtin's photographs, tracks the emergence of American interest and engagement with the wider world and writes an important chapter in the history of twentieth-century academia.
The Arab Muslim Ibn Khaldun developed a method of evaluating historical evidence that allowed him to explain the underlying causes of events such as the cyclical rise and fall of North African dynasties. As Stephen Dale shows, this work was the first structural history and historical sociology, four centuries before the European Enlightenment.
First published in 1932, this book is perhaps the earliest work by an American scholar on a Chinese woman intellectual. Nancy Lee Swann presents a sketch of the Eastern Han period when Pan lived and wrote, of her family background, and of the literary milieu of which she was a part. In addition, Swann provides translations of writings definitively identified with Pan that survive from the years when she was active (ca. 89--105 a.d.).
While Pan is well known for her contribution to the great Han-shu, of special interest is her treatise on the moral training of women, in which she makes a plea for girls to be given the same education as boys and points to principles that led young women to success in ancient China. Swann also includes memorials, short poems, and an essay, all of which demonstrate Pan's rhetorical skills and her concerns at the Han court.
A considerable work of scholarship, Pan Chao is grounded in Swann's detailed knowledge of the history and literature of the late Han and it includes the Chinese for shorter works and a comprehensive list of primary sources on this important early scholar.
In a literary environment dominated by men, the first American to earn a living as a writer and to establish a reputation on both sides of the Atlantic was, miraculously, a woman. Hannah Adams dared to enter--and in some ways was forced to enter--a sphere of literature that had, in eighteenth-century America, been solely a male province. Driven by poverty and necessity, and aided by an extraordinarily adept mind and keen sense of business, Adams authored works on New England history, sectarian history, and Jewish history, using and citing the most recent scholarly works being published in Great Britain and America. As a female writer, she would always remain something of an outsider, but her accomplishments did not by any means go unrecognized: embraced by the Boston intelligentsia and highly regarded throughout New England, Adams came to epitomize the possibility in a democratic society that anyone could rise to a circle of intellectual elites.
In A Passionate Usefulness, the first book-length biography of this remarkable figure, Gary Schmidt focuses primarily on the intimate connection between Adams's reading and her own literary work. Hers is the story of incipient scholarship in the new nation, the story of a dependence that evolved into intellectual independence. Schmidt sets Adams's works in the context of her early poverty and desperate family situation, her decade-long feud with one of New England's most powerful Calvinist ministers, her alliance with the budding Unitarian movement in Boston, and her work establishing the first evangelical mission to Palestine (a task she accomplished virtually single-handedly).
Today Adams still holds a place not only as a female writer who made her way economically in the book business before any other woman--or male writer--could do so, but also as a key figure in the transitional generation between the American Revolution and the Renaissance upon whose groundwork much of the country's later literature would build.
Gary Schmidt is Professor of English at Calvin College and the coauthor, with Carol Winters, of Edging the Boundaries of Children's Literature.
A taboo-breaker and a great provocateur, George L. Mosse (1918–99) was one of the great historians of the twentieth century, forging a new historiography of culture that included brilliant insights about the roles of nationalism, fascism, racism, and sexuality. Jewish, gay, and a member of a culturally elite family in Germany, Mosse came of age as the Nazis came to power, before escaping as a teenager to England and America. Mosse was innovative and interdisciplinary as a scholar, and he shattered in his groundbreaking books prevalent assumptions about the nature of National Socialism and the Holocaust. He audaciously drew a link from bourgeois respectability and the ideology of the Enlightenment—the very core of modern Western civilization—to the extermination of the European Jews.
In this intellectual biography of George Mosse, Karel Plessini draws on all of Mosse's published and unpublished work to illuminate the origins and development of his groundbreaking methods of historical analysis and the close link between his life and work. He redefined the understanding of modern mass society and politics, masterfully revealing the powerful influence of conformity and political liturgies on twentieth-century history. Mosse warned against the dangers inherent in acquiescence, showing how identity creation and ideological fervor can climax in intolerance and mass murder—a message of continuing relevance.
When the new HIPAA privacy rules regarding the release of health information took effect, medical historians suddenly faced a raft of new ethical and legal challenges—even in cases where their subjects had died years, or even a century, earlier. In Privacy and the Past, medical historian Susan C. Lawrence explores the impact of these new privacy rules, offering insight into what historians should do when they research, write about, and name real people in their work.
Lawrence offers a wide-ranging and informative discussion of the many issues involved. She highlights the key points in research ethics that can affect historians, including their ethical obligations to their research subjects, both living and dead, and she reviews the range of federal laws that protect various kinds of information. The book discusses how the courts have dealt with privacy in contexts relevant to historians, including a case in which a historian was actually sued for a privacy violation. Lawrence also questions who gets to decide what is revealed and what is kept hidden in decades-old records, and she examines the privacy issues that archivists consider when acquiring records and allowing researchers to use them. She looks at how demands to maintain individual privacy both protect and erase the identities of people whose stories make up the historical record, discussing decisions that historians have made to conceal identities that they believed needed to be protected. Finally, she encourages historians to vigorously resist any expansion of regulatory language that extends privacy protections to the dead.
Engagingly written and powerfully argued, Privacy and the Past is an important first step in preventing privacy regulations from affecting the historical record and the ways that historians write history.
Quicksand and Cactus
Juanita Brooks Utah State University Press, 1992 Library of Congress F826.B874 1992 | Dewey Decimal 979.203092
Willem Otterspeer Amsterdam University Press, 2011 Library of Congress D15.H9O783 2010
Johan Huizinga, the Dutch founding father of cultural history, ranks among the most influential thinkers of the twentieth century. Perhaps best known is Huizinga’s revolutionary insight into the formative role of play in human culture, a theory he espoused in the celebrated Homo Ludens, which was published in 1938. For Huizinga, philology was the mother of all interpretive endeavors, reading and writing were part of a collective ritual that channeled human passion into beautiful forms, and passion remained the fundamental fact of human life. In this clear, engaging study, the renowned Dutch scholar Willem Otterspeer paints an original portrait of Huizinga in the context of interwar Europe—and shares his subject’s own hallmark passion for history.
This collection of essays examines the contributions of some of the most notable interpreters of southern history and culture, furthering our understanding of the best historical work produced on the region.
Historian Glenn Feldman gathers together a group of essays that examine the efforts of important scholars to discuss and define the South's distinctiveness. The volume includes 18 chapters on such notable historians as John Hope Franklin, Anne Firor Scott, Frank L. Owsley, W. J. Cash, and C. Vann Woodward, written by 19 different researchers, both senior historians and emerging scholars, including Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, John Shelton Reed, Bruce Clayton, and Ted Ownby. The essays examine the major work or works of each scholar under consideration as well as that scholar's overall contribution to the study of southern history.
Reading Southern History will enlighten readers on the more compelling themes currently and traditionally explored by southern historians. It will appeal greatly to professors and students as a valuable multidisciplinary introduction to the study of southern history, since several of the essays are on scholars who are working outside the discipline of history proper, in the fields of political science, sociology, journalism, and economics. Feldman's collection, therefore, sheds light on a broad spectrum of themes important in southern history, including the plight of poor whites, race, debates over race and class, the "reconstruction syndrome," continuity versus discontinuity in relation to blacks and whites, and regional culture and distinctiveness.
Reading Southern History will be valuable to students and scholars of women's studies, African American history, working-class history, and ethnic studies, as well as traditional southern history. Most important, the publication makes a significant contribution to the development and ongoing study of the historiography of the South.
The study of intellectual history in Africa is in its infancy. We know very little about what Africa’s thinkers made of their times. Recasting the Past brings one field of intellectual endeavor into view. The book takes its place alongside a small but growing literature that highlights how, in autobiographies, historical writing, fiction, and other literary genres, African writers intervened creatively in their political world.
The past has already been worked over by the African interpreters that the present volume brings into view. African brokers—pastors, journalists, kingmakers, religious dissidents, politicians, entrepreneurs all—have been doing research, conducting interviews, reading archives, and presenting their results to critical audiences. Their scholarly work makes it impossible to think of African history as an inert entity awaiting the attention of professional historians. Professionals take their place in a broader field of interpretation, where Africans are already reifying, editing, and representing the past.
The essays collected in Recasting the Past study the warp and weft of Africa’s homespun historical work. Contributors trace the strands of discourse from which historical entrepreneurs drew, highlighting the sources of inspiration and reference that enlivened their work. By illuminating the conventions of the past, Africa’s history writers set their contemporary constituents on a path toward a particular future. History writing was a means by which entrepreneurs conjured up constituencies, claimed legitimate authority, and mobilized people around a cause. By illuminating the spheres of debate in which Africa’s own scholars participated, Recasting the Past repositions the practice of modern history.
History as a field of learning is in a state of crisis. It has lost much of its influence in institutions of higher learning and its place in public esteem. Historians have, in large part, lost touch with the intelligent lay reader and with the undergraduate college student. History’s value to society is being questioned. In this work, a distinguished historian views the profession to which he has been devoted for more than thirty years. Theodore S. Hamerow’s learned observations will be welcomed by all historians and by those involved in the management of higher education, and should be required reading for all graduate students in history.
Far from being a sentimental look at the past, Hamerow’s work confronts the unpleasant reality of the present. History, he says flatly, is a discipline in retreat. The profession is in serious trouble and there are no signs that its problems will be resolved in the foreseeable future.
After identifying the current crisis, Hamerow proceeds to trace the development of the profession over the last hundred years and to examine its characteristics in modern society. In this section of the book he shares some fascinating practical observations on the ways in which the profession operates. Hamerow explains why some historians rise to prominence while others do not. He also examines causes of the dissatisfactions that afflict many historians and their students.
Hamerow also examines the way in which academic historians live their lives, as he expands on the daily realities that they face. He then explains how those realities have shaped scholarship and led to the “new history.” The broad use of social science methods, he observes, has had the effect of isolating the new historians from traditional historians, indeed from one another. Couched in the arcane prose of machine-readable languages, says Hamerow, history has become inaccessible to the intelligent lay reader who had once read historical works with interest, understanding, and appreciation.
In concluding his examination, Hamerow asks, “What is the use of history?” It has long been a favorite question asked by historians, but seldom one over which they agonized for very long. After considering various arguments for the usefulness of historical investigation, Hamerow offers his own justification.
There are times, says Hamerow, when even the most spontaneous or instructive cultural pursuits need to be examined in the light of the purposes they serve and the goals they seek. Now might be a good time for all historians to take a long look at the direction their discipline has taken in the past century, at the functions it has come to perform, and at the serious dilemma it now faces. Hamerow is a steady and helpful guide to any such examination.
Richard Hofstadter (1916-70) was America’s most distinguished historian of the twentieth century. The author of several groundbreaking books, including The American Political Tradition, he was a vigorous champion of the liberal politics that emerged from the New Deal. During his nearly thirty-year career, Hofstadter fought public campaigns against liberalism’s most dynamic opponents, from McCarthy in the 1950s to Barry Goldwater and the Sun Belt conservatives in the 1960s. His opposition to the extreme politics of postwar America—articulated in his books, essays, and public lectures—marked him as one of the nation’s most important and prolific public intellectuals.
In this masterful biography, David Brown explores Hofstadter’s life within the context of the rise and fall of American liberalism. A fierce advocate of academic freedom, racial justice, and political pluralism, Hofstadter charted in his works the changing nature of American society from a provincial Protestant foundation to one based on the values of an urban and multiethnic nation. According to Brown, Hofstadter presciently saw in rural America’s hostility to this cosmopolitanism signs of an anti-intellectualism that he believed was dangerously endemic in a mass democracy.
By the end of a life cut short by leukemia, Hofstadter had won two Pulitzer Prizes, and his books had attracted international attention. Yet the Vietnam years, as Brown shows, culminated in a conservative reaction to his work that is still with us. Whether one agrees with Hofstadter’s critics or with the noted historian John Higham, who insisted that Hofstadter was “the finest and also the most humane intelligence of our generation,” the importance of this seminal thinker cannot be denied. As this fascinating biography ultimately shows, Hofstadter’s observations on the struggle between conservative and liberal America are relevant to our own times, and his legacy challenges us to this day.
Richer of Saint-Remi
Justin Lake Catholic University of America Press, 2013 Library of Congress DC36.98.R53L35 2013 | Dewey Decimal 944.02107202
Building upon, but also moving beyond, previous scholarship that has focused on Richer's political allegiances and his views of kingship, this study by Justin Lake provides the most comprehensive synthesis of the History, examining Richer's use and abuse of his sources, his relationship to Gerbert, and the motives that led him to write.
Bernard DeVoto (1897–1955) was a historian, critic, editor, professor, political commentator, and conservationist, and above all a writer of comprehensive skill. As a contributor for more than thirty years to Harper’s and other magazines, he was known for his forceful opinions. His essays were often brash and opinionated and kept him in the public limelight. One stinging essay even led the FBI to create a file on him. His five serious novels are forgotten today, but his magazine short stories and the well-paid potboilers that he wrote under a pseudonym (John August) subsidized the first of the significant works of American history that brought DeVoto lasting fame. Four of his historical works, all still in print, are The Year of Decision: 1846, a Book-of-the-Month Club selection in 1943; Across the Wide Missouri, which won the Pulitzer Prize in history in 1948; 1953 National Book Award–winning The Course of Empire; and his popular abridged edition of the Journals of Lewis and Clark, which also appeared in 1953.
A busy man with a busy life, DeVoto found time to write and answer letters in abundance. In 1933 he received a fan letter from Katharine Sterne, a young woman hospitalized with tuberculosis; his reply touched off an extraordinary eleven-year correspondence. Sterne had graduated with honors from Wellesley College in 1928 and had served as an assistant art critic at the New York Times before her illness. Despite her enforced invalidism she maintained an active intellectual life. Sterne and DeVoto wrote to each other until her death in 1944, sometimes in many pages and as often as twice a week, exchanging opinions about life, literature, art, current events, family news, gossip, and their innermost feelings. DeVoto’s biographer, Wallace Stegner, states that in these letters DeVoto “expressed himself more intimately than in any other writings.” Although their correspondence amounted to more than 868 letters (and is virtually complete on both sides), DeVoto and Sterne never met, both of them doubtless realizing that physical remoteness permitted a psychological proximity that was deeply nourishing.
This volume contains 140 of their letters. They have been selected by DeVoto’s son Mark, who has also provided detailed notes clarifying ambiguities and obscure references. Readers will enjoy these letters for their wit and literary flair, but they will also gain insight into the cultural and historical crosscurrents of the 1930s and ’40s while taking an intimate and engaging look at a friendship forged entirely through words.
In the summer of 1930, Lorenzo Johnston Greene, a graduate of Howard University and a doctoral candidate at Columbia University, became a book agent for the man with the undisputed title of "Father of Negro History," Carter G. Woodson. With little more than determination, Greene, along with four Howard University students, traveled throughout the South and Southeast selling books published by Woodson's Associated Publishers. Their dual purpose was to provide needed funds for the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History and to promote the study of African American history. Greene returned east by way of Chicago, and, for a time, he settled in Philadelphia, selling books there and in the nearby cities of Delaware and New Jersey. He left Philadelphia in 1931 to conduct a survey in Washington, D.C., of firms employing and not employing black workers.
From 1930 until 1933, when Greene began teaching at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri, Selling Black History for Carter G. Woodson provides a unique firsthand account of conditions in African American communities during the Great Depression. Greene describes in the diary, often in lyrical terms, the places and people he visited. He provides poignant descriptions of what was happening to black professional and business people, plus working-class people, along with details of high school facilities, churches, black business enterprises, housing, and general conditions in communities. Greene also gives revealing accounts of how the black colleges were faring in 1930.
Selling Black History for Carter G. Woodson offers important glimpses into the private thoughts of a young man of the 1930s, a developing intellectual and scholar. Greene's diary also provides invaluable insights into the personality of Carter Woodson that are not otherwise available. This fascinating and comprehensive view of black America during the early thirties will be a welcome addition to African American studies.
Wallace Stegner, a major American novelist and conservationist, is interviewed by Etulain, a renowned Western scholar, in a series of discussions. Originally published in 1983 and entitled Conversations with Wallace Stegner on Western History and Literature, this book is the ultimate Stegner interview. New foreword by Stewart Udall.
When southern women remove their gloves, they speak their minds. The ten timely and provocative essays in Taking Off the White Gloves represent the collective wisdom of some of the finest scholars on women's history in the American South. On the eve of the thirtieth anniversary of the Southern Association for Women Historians, this volume brings together some of the outstanding lectures delivered by distinguished members of the association over the past fifteen years.
Spanning four centuries of women's experiences in the South, the topics featured in Taking Off the White Gloves range from Native American sexuality and European conquest to woman suffrage in the South, from black women's protest history to the status of women in the historical profession at the end of the twentieth century.
Despite diverse subject matter, these rich essays share a number of important qualities. They take an integrative approach, combining literary analysis, social history, cultural interpretation, labor history, popular culture, and oral history. Embracing the distinctiveness of the southern past and women's experiences within that past, they also recognize the inextricability of critical categories such as sexuality and gender, race and gender, and women and work. Finally, these essays emphasize the authors' commitment to the belief that the personal is political; they reveal the subtle and not so subtle ways that women transform theory into practice.
Taking Off the White Gloves invites a new understanding of the complexities that surround the history of southern women across race, class, place, and time. A model of innovative and imaginative scholarly historical writing, this book provides fertile ground for young scholars and is sure to inspire new research. This thought- provoking volume has much to offer scholars and students, as well as the general reader.
The Thaw Generation offers an insider's look at the Soviet dissident movement--the intellectuals who, during the Khrushchev and Brezhnev eras, dared to challenge an oppressive system and demand the rights guaranteed by the Soviet constitution. Fired from their jobs, hunted by the KGB, “tried,” and imprisoned, Alexeyeva and other activists including Andrei Sakharov, Yuri Orlov, Yuli Daniel, and Andrei Sinyavsky, through their dedication and their personal and professional sacrifices, focused international attention on the issue of human rights in the USSR.
If the vibrancy on display in Thinking in the Past Tense is any indication, the study of intellectual history is enjoying an unusually fertile period in both Europe and North America. This collection of conversations with leading scholars brims with insights from such diverse fields as the history of science, the reception of classical antiquity, book history, global philology, and the study of material culture. The eight practitioners interviewed here specialize in the study of the early modern period (c. 1400–1800), for the last forty years a crucial laboratory for testing new methods in intellectual history. The lively conversations don’t simply reveal these scholars’ depth and breadth of thought; they also disclose the kind of trade secrets that historians rarely elucidate in print. Thinking in the Past Tense offers students and professionals alike a rare tactile understanding of the practice of intellectual history. Here is a collectively drawn portrait of the historian’s craft today.
One of twelve children in a close-knit, affluent Catholic Belgian family, Jan Vansina began life in a seemingly sheltered environment. But that cocoon was soon pierced by the escalating tensions and violence that gripped Europe in the 1930s and 1940s. In this book Vansina recalls his boyhood and youth in Antwerp, Bruges, and the Flemish countryside as the country was rocked by waves of economic depression, fascism, competing nationalisms, and the occupation of first Axis and then Allied forces.
Within the vast literature on World War II, a much smaller body of work treats the everyday experiences of civilians, particularly in smaller countries drawn into the conflict. Recalling the war in Belgium from a child’s-eye perspective, Vansina describes pangs of hunger so great as to make him crave the bitter taste of cod-liver oil. He vividly remembers the shock of seeing severely wounded men on the grounds of a field hospital, the dangers of crossing fields and swimming in ponds strafed by planes, and his family’s interactions with occupying and escaping soldiers from both sides. After the war he recalls emerging numb from the cinema where he first saw the footage of the Nazi death camps, and he describes a new phase of unrest marked by looting, vigilante justice, and the country’s efforts at reunification.
Vansina, a historian and anthropologist best known for his insights into oral tradition and social memory, draws on his own memories and those of his siblings to reconstruct daily life in Belgium during a tumultuous era.
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In 1947 John Hope Franklin, then a professor of history at North Carolina College for Negroes, wrote From Slavery to Freedom. Now in its eighth edition, that book, which redefined our understanding of American history, remains the preeminent record of the African American experience. With it and a dozen other books, Franklin has been established as the intellectual father of black studies.
Tributes to John Hope Franklin focuses on this esteemed scholar’s academic achievements, his humanitarian contributions, and his extraordinary legacy. This collection of comments by Franklin’s students, colleagues, family, and friends captures the man and his work for future generations. Tributes offered by Franklin’s admirers, Walter B. Hill Jr., David Levering Lewis, Alfred A. Moss Jr., Darlene Clark Hine, Loren Schweninger, Daryl Michael Scott, George M. Fredrickson, Mary Frances Berry, and many others, attest to Franklin’s commitment to his intellectual pursuits, to public service, and, most important, to his students.
Franklin’s dedication to mentoring those who sought his help, as well as providing for his family, is beyond compare. In one essay, John W. Franklin offers an inside view of growing up with John Hope and Aurelia Franklin, detailing the travels and associations that were a part of his experience as their son. Alfred Moss, coauthor of the last three editions of From Slavery to Freedom, shares special images of Franklin as mentor to a young Anglican priest.
Genna Rae McNeil shows us the quintessential teacher through the eyes of a passionate young scholar beginning her own voyage into the study of American history. George Fredrickson takes on the challenge of explaining the complexity of the work of this man who has been both a fervent proponent of racial equality and a practitioner of “detached, objective, dispassionate historical scholarship.”
Each of the pieces—by men and by women, by blacks and by whites, by several generations of participants in the twentieth century’s journey toward a better America—recalls for us what a vital role John Hope Franklin has played in that voyage. Tributes to John Hope Franklin is a joy to read and an incredible opportunity to celebrate a life and a body of historical work dedicated to achieving and sharing the wisdom that scholarly excellence provides.
The Unmasterable Past
Charles S. Maier Harvard University Press, 1997 Library of Congress DD256.5.M32 1998 | Dewey Decimal 940.5318072
Bringing his book up to date with reflections since its first publication a decade ago, Charles Maier writes that the historians' controversy gave Germany a chance to air the issues immediately before unification and, in effect, the controversy substituted for the constitutional debate that a united Germany never got around to holding. The premises of national community, whether formulated in terms of legal culture, inherited collective responsibilities, or patriotic habits of the heart, had already been subjects for vigorous discussion.
What History Tells presents an impressive collection of critical papers from the September 2001 conference "An Historian’s Legacy: George L. Mosse and Recent Research on Fascism, Society, and Culture." This book examines his historiographical legacy first within the context of his own life and the internal development of his work, and secondly by tracing the many ways in which Mosse influenced the subsequent study of contemporary history, European cultural history and modern Jewish history.
The contributors include Walter Laqueur, David Sabean, Johann Sommerville, Emilio Gentile, Roger Griffin, Saul Friedländer, Jay Winter, Rudy Koshar, Robert Nye, Janna Bourke, Shulamit Volkov, and Steven E. Aschheim.
A longtime agitator against war and social injustice, Lawrence Wittner has been tear-gassed, threatened by police with drawn guns, charged by soldiers with fixed bayonets, spied upon by the U.S. government, arrested, and purged from his job for political -reasons. To say that this teacher-historian-activist has led an interesting life is a considerable understatement.
In this absorbing memoir, Wittner traces the dramatic course of a life and career that took him from a Brooklyn boyhood in the 1940s and ’50s to an education at Columbia University and the University of Wisconsin to the front lines of peace activism, the fight for racial equality, and the struggles of the labor movement. He details his family background, which included the bloody anti-Semitic pogroms of late-nineteenth-century Eastern Europe, and chronicles his long teaching career, which comprised positions at a small black college in Virginia, an elite women’s liberal arts college north of New York City, and finally a permanent home at the Albany campus of the State University of New York. Throughout, he packs the narrative with colorful vignettes describing such activities as fighting racism in Louisiana and Mississippi during the early 1960s, collaborating with peace-oriented intellectuals in Gorbachev’s Soviet Union, and leading thousands of antinuclear demonstrators through the streets of Hiroshima. As the book also reveals, Wittner’s work as an activist was matched by scholarly achievements that made him one of the world’s foremost authorities on the history of the peace and nuclear disarmament movements—a research specialty that led to revealing encounters with such diverse figures as Norman Thomas, the Unabomber, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Caspar Weinberger, and David Horowitz.
A tenured professor and renowned author who has nevertheless lived in tension with the broader currents of his society, Lawrence Wittner tells an engaging personal story that includes some of the most turbulent and significant events of recent history.
Lawrence S. Wittner, emeritus professor of history at the University at Albany, SUNY, is the author of numerous scholarly works, including the award-winning three-volume Struggle Against the Bomb. Among other awards and honors, he has received major grants or fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Aspen Institute, the United States Institute of Peace, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
World History—A Genealogy charts the history of the discipline through twenty-five in-depth conversations with historians whose work has shaped the field of world history in fundamental ways. These conversations, which took place over a period of twenty years for the world history journal Itinerario, cover these historians’ lives, work, and views of the academy in general and the field of world history in particular. An extensive introduction distills the most important developments in the field from these conversations, and sheds light on what these historians have in common, as well as—perhaps more importantly—what separates them.
Leonardo Bruni is widely recognized as the most important humanist historian of the early Renaissance. Gary Ianziti undertakes a systematic work-by-work investigation of the full range of Bruni’s output in history and biography, and assesses in detail the impact of the Greek historians on humanist methods of historical writing.
Historians of the American West are indebted to the pioneering scholars of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries such as Frederick Jackson Turner, Walter Prescott Webb, and Herbert Eugene Bolton. Etulain gathers essays by contemporary historians on ten of these early writers to survey of the evolution of a scholarly field.